Hinduism beyond Indian Frontiers: 11 countries with largest Hindu population

Hinduism has over 1 billion followers worldwide, which is almost 15% of the world's population, with over 95% of them living in India

3
11470
Hinduism beyond Indian frontiers
A Temple in India. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Hinduism is commonly associated with India, but around the globe, there are several ancient Hindu communities which do not have their origins in the subcontinent. After Christianity and Islam, Hinduism is the third most popular religion on the globe. It has approximately over 1 billion followers around the different countries of the world, about 15% of world’s population. India is called the fountainhead of Hinduism. The reason being, over 95% of the total Hindu population resides in India, while the rest are heterogeneously spread around the remaining countries in the world. Hindu Population is accounted for over 13% of the world’s entire population.

Here is the list of 11 countries with the largest Hindu population:

I. India

India is known as the birthplace of many religions but Hinduism is the most noteworthy one. It is believed that Hinduism began many thousand years ago. India has the world’s largest Hindu population, nearly 94.3% of the total Hindu population live here.Despite being the most Hindu-populated country, India is secular. Hinduism is a major religion of India, with over 80% of the population recognizing themselves as Hindu, which accounts for over 98 crore people in India. The overall population of India believes strongly in the philosophy or the teachings of Hindu culture and traditions. Dispersed throughout the length and breadth of the country,almost all the states including the union territories in India has a large number of Hindu Populace.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Hinduism is a major religion of India, with over 80% of the population recognizing themselves as Hindu, which accounts for over 98 crore people in India. The overall population of India believes strongly in the philosophy or the teachings of Hindu culture and traditions. Dispersed throughout the length and breadth of the country, almost all the states including the union territories in India have a large number of Hindu Populace.

Hindus at Har Ki Pauri near river Ganges via wikipedia.org
Hindus at Har Ki Pauri near river Ganges via wikipedia.org

II. Nepal

The most common religion in the country with almost 81.3% of the population is Hinduism. It is believed that Lord Vishnu had systematized the people of Nepal and given them their national flag, with the combination of sun and moon as the emblem on it. The national calendar is based on the Hindu solar calendar. The traditions of people in Nepal is similar to that of the people from the Northern part of India.

III. Bangladesh

Hinduism is the second most eminent religion in the country. Casing about 8.2% of the population, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics for 2011 census. According to an official report, the number of Hindus in Muslim dominating Bangladesh has grown by one per cent ,almost 1.70 crores in a year constituting to an increase up to 10.7 percent of the population in 2015. Tradition and customs of the Hindus in the country greatly duplicate that of the Indian state of Bengal.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

IV. Indonesia

Bali is the famous island and province of Indonesia. Unknown to most Hindus in the world, with the total population of 3,112,331- 83.5% of them follows Hinduism. Bali Hinduism is one of the official religions of Indonesia. The Ramayana is a national epic and ‘culture’ in Indonesia, despite being a Muslim dominated nation.

Balinese Puja at a temple via Wikimedia Commons
Balinese Puja at a temple via Wikimedia Commons

V. Hinduism in West Indies (Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago)

Hinduism is one of the paramount religion of the Indo-Caribbean faction.According to a report in 1995, Hindus constituted to over 25 percent of the total population particularly  in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Indian religious movements such as Arya Samaj, was extensively backed by the Hindus in Guyana, Trinidad and Suriname. Moreover cast system ,world’s oldest surviving social stratification was systematize by the British in 1850, however it was disregarded and later eliminated by Indo-Caribbean Hindus in the early 20th century .Throughout the history, Trinidad’s population growth came particularly from Indian indentured laborers. According to the year, 2000 census report there were 2,50,760 Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago which constitutes to over 22.49% of its total population and 56.19% of the total population of the Indo-Caribbeans islands.

This is a historic 100-year-old mud temple in Exchange Village, Couva, Trinidad. NewsGram thanks Dr. Kumar Mahabir for providing the picture.
This is a historic 100-year-old mud temple in Exchange Village, Couva, Trinidad. NewsGram thanks Dr. Kumar Mahabir for providing the picture.

VI. Sri Lanka

Hinduism has a long tradition in Sri Lanka. Hindus currently make up for 12.60% of the Sri Lankan population and are almost exclusively Tamils apart from minor immigrant communities from India and Pakistan. Hinduism is mainly practiced in the Northeastern region, mostly by the Tamil population and also some Telegu and Malayalis. The majority of Sri Lankan Hindus follow the preaching of Shaiva Siddhanta.

VII. Philippines

Hindu communities are prominent in the Philippines and have had significant religious and cultural influence in the country dating back to the precolonial period. Hinduism is currently limited to the small recent immigrant Indian community in the country. Although ,some of the natives have also been practicing Hinduism. Yoga and meditation are also popular.

VIII. Malaysia

Malaysia being a multicultural country like India, it hosts about 1.78 million Hindus, almost 6.3% of its total population and most of them settled in the western part of the peninsula. Hinduism is the fourth largest religion in Malaysia. Major Hindu festivals that are celebrated in the country include Diwali, Pongal, Navratri, and Thaipusam. The country also has many Hindu temples although few have been demolished by Malaysian government officials in recent years.

IX. United States

Though Hinduism is a minority religion in states, a significant number of Hindus resides here. Around 1,790,560 people are Hindus, majority of them being Indian Americans or immigrants from Southeast Asia. American Hindus in 2015 accounted for an estimated 0.7% of the total US population.

President of the US Barack Obama receives a red shawl from a Hindu priest from Sri Siva Vishnu Temple via Wikipedia.org
President of the US Barack Obama receives a red shawl from a Hindu priest from Sri Siva Vishnu Temple. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

X. South Africa

Hinduism originated in Africa from the late 19th century onwards through the spread of the colonial rule.The second country with the highest Hindu population in Africa after Mauritius, South Africa has over 1.1% of the total population, Hindus. Most of them are believed to be immigrants from different parts of India. Present-day South Africa has numerous Hindu temples, where they celebrate the ancient Hindu festival Diwali.

XI. United Arab Emirates

Finally, UAE has a lot of Indian residents and almost 21.5 % of the population practices the religion. The total number of Hindus in the country is around 944,352 a lot of them belonging to the business communities.

A 2013 news report indicated that a Muslim businessman contributed five acres of land in Abu Dhabi to build a Swaminarayan temple.

Here is the list of few more countries where Hindus constitute a significant percentage of the total population. However, these countries couldn’t make it to the top due to their low overall population:

  • Mauritius 

Mauritius is a beautiful island nation located in the Indian Ocean , known for its beaches and lagoons. However, this small island also has the highest percentage of Hindus in Africa and third highest percentage in the world after India and Nepal. During the colonial times, the British turned many Indians to contracted labourers. From 1835 to 1910, many such labourers were migrated to Africa by the European traders.They later chose remain in Africa.

Today, Hinduism is the largest religion in Mauritius,according to the 2011 census made by Statistics Mauritius, Hindus constitute to approximately 48.5%, while pew research centre, give an estimate of 56% of the total population of the country!

  • Fiji

A 2004 report suggests over 261,000 Fijians were Hindus then, about 40% of its total population. The Hindu community in Fiji has constructed many temples, educational institutes and community centres over time. These served as venues for cultural functions, marriages, annual festivals and other social events.

The Hindu temples were constructed both in northern and southern Indian styles. For example, the Shiu Hindu temple was built in 1910 in Nadi. The Hindu population in Fiji is heterogeneously distributed. Population in some villages such as Nadi and Nausori area have a majority. Diwali is the primary festival of the year in Fiji.

Sri Siva Subramaniya temple in nadi,Fiji via Wikimedia Commons
Sri Siva Subramaniya temple in Nadi,Fiji via Wikimedia Commons

  • Canada

Canada reminds as the Land of the Rockies, Niagara Falls,skiing and ice hockey.There is yet another thing, this country reminds of temples. Canada has over 90 Hindu temples, 63 of them in the most populous city in Canada (Toronto). According to the Canada 2011 Census report, there were 497,960 practitioners of Hinduism in the country.

– by Yajush Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter: yajush_gupta

ALSO READ:

  • AJ Krish

    Hinduism is not restricted to one land. It is universally accepted and many ideals are taken from it.

  • Raj

    Good article. I wonder what is Hindu population in places like Singapore, Fiji, Australia, Barbados, and UK.

  • Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu

    Great article! Amazing to know how we are scattered almost everywhere.